Featured

Third Annual Bargain Bash

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The Junior League of Omaha (JLO) hosted its third annual Bargain Bash at the Ralston Arena on Saturday, August 10, 2019 and Sunday, August 11, 2019. The event raised funds which help JLO to support community programming throughout the year.

The rummage sale featured designer and name-brand clothing, shoes and jewelry for men, women and children as well as baby supplies, toys, kitchenware, home decor and furniture. One of the standout items for sale this year was a 10 piece, hand-painted bedroom set.

For a $20 donation, early bird shoppers could shop 90 minutes before the official opening to get their first pick of the items for sale and enjoy coffee with donuts.

Bargain Bash co-chairs said the committee sold 50 presale tickets and they were elated to see a line of customers waiting Saturday morning when the event officially opened to the public. In total, shoppers purchased $14,000 in merchandise throughout the weekend.

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Also of note, nothing went to waste. JLO donated unsold inventory to Heartland Hope Mission, where items will be donated directly to flood victims who lost their homes and personal belongings.

Still not sold on shopping secondhand? Here’s a little more motivation to thrift:

  • Find unique pieces and valuable items at great prices
  • Reduce waste through reusing gently loved goods
  • Think of thrifting as a treasure hunt – you never know what you might find
  • One-of-a-kind goods that tell a story

Are you feeling motivated to shop secondhand?

Comment with some of your favorite thrifted purchases below!

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Prepare to Whisk Away with bRUNch 5k!

bRUNch 5k is excited to announce that for this year’s event, the League is whisking away to Aksarben Village on May 4, 2019. 

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I visited with Jess Winter, Communications Project Manager for the event, about why people should consider participating in the Junior League of Omaha’s annual bRUNch 5K. She shared, “Running with a group is a great way to build community.  Exercise groups empower one another and can be your best cheerleaders. You’re all in it together.”

Are you beginning to prepare for bRUNch 5k? Consider downloading apps that feature running programs for beginners, such as Couch to 5K. These programs combine walking and running  each week until reaching a continuous run.

Already a seasoned runner? Cross-training options that will add to your endurance include weight training and barre classes.

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Jess Winter offered additional insight for those who are unsure about running. “If you are hesitant about running, start slowly and modify if needed. Essentially, you want to set yourself up for success, and if you feel like you’re doing too much, then take a step back and train one less day until you feel confident. If you have knee issues, recovering from an injury or had physical therapy, talk your physical therapist. They are a great resource in supporting your goals and can give some great exercises, stretches and programming if needed.”

Most importantly, Jess advised, “Share your goals! People want to support you.”

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Run, brunch, or both! Enjoy the best of both worlds at bRUNch 5K

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Additional local resources to keep you motivated and offer support, whether you are an experienced runner or just starting out, can be found at locations below.

  • Peak Performance
  • Omaha Running Club
  • Moms on the Run
  • Pure Barre West Omaha and Loveland locations
  • Barre Code West Omaha and Dundee locations
  • Well Mama
  • Moms Run this Town – Facebook Group

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Junior League of Omaha bRUNch 5K Committee members pose during the 2018 event.

 

Please join us by registering at https://runsignup.com/Race/NE/Omaha/JuniorLeagueofOmahabRUNch5k2019. For more information on joining the Junior League of Omaha, visit https://www.jlomaha.org/.

Junior League of Omaha Celebrates 100 Years

The 100th anniversary of the Junior League of Omaha is upon us, and the League has planned two events to mark this special occasion. The 100th Anniversary Celebratory Luncheon was held on March 15, at the Marriott Downtown at the Capitol District, and the 100th Anniversary Annual Meeting & Cocktail Reception will be on May 3, at the Joslyn Art Museum. These two events are truly “A Celebration of the Junior League of Omaha’s Past, Present and Future.”

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Bethany Banister and Patricia Stillmock are the co-chairs of the 100th Anniversary committee, and they have been creating and executing the plans that surround the festivities for nearly three years. When asked how the history of the League influenced their preparations, they responded, “The team of historians and our committee did an amazing job looking into the history of the League, and it inspired all aspects of our planning.” The Joslyn Art Museum, for example, not only has historical connections to the Junior League, but the architecture of the building dates back to around the same time as the Junior League of Omaha’s establishment.

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A great deal of time has been spent on making the 100th anniversary celebrations special, and this includes research into the past, as well as interviews with Sustainers and past members of the League. In addition to studying the records at Junior League of Omaha headquarters, the committee has worked with the Omaha World-Herald, the Durham Museum, and the Douglas County Historical Society to locate anecdotes, photos, and stories from the past. Sustainers have been generous with sharing their archives, and Banister and Stillmock agreed that these interactions have been “the most fun and rewarding part of this journey.”

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Highlights from the luncheon include guest speaker, Yesterday’s Lady, Sue McLain, who shared the history of the little black dress. A ten thousand dollar gift was made to The Rose Theater, an organization with whom the Junior League of Omaha has a strong history. And lastly, the anniversary video debuted an interview with the oldest living Junior League of Omaha Past President, who also attended the event!

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As we enjoy these special events, we remember the theme: A Celebration of the Junior League of Omaha’s Past, Present and Future. Bethany and Patricia hope that the “League continues to be a strong organization that teaches women how to be great volunteers while making great friendships.”  

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New Learning and Networking through Junior League Training Opportunities

The Junior League Training Committee is halfway through their 2018/2019 event calendar, but far from finished with offering exciting trainings. I recently sat down with Training Chair, Mary Burnett, to recap the events held in the fall and see what exciting events they have coming this spring.

Q: Can you tell us a little bit about the Training Committee and the committee’s role in the Junior League?

A: I always go back to the fact that the Junior League is first and foremost a training organization. We like to offer a combination of events that are focused on training women to be leaders in professional and volunteering roles, as well as trainings that offer a chance for League members to learn a fun new skill and network with other League women. This year we’ve already held trainings on financial acumen, parliamentary procedure, Google Drive, CPR/First Aid, cooking classes, mending clothes, and decorating ornaments with kids!

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Parliamentary Procedure training prepared these leaders for future meetings.

Q: How do you and your committee members come up with the types of training events offered? How many do you try to schedule in a year?

A: We use recommendations from multiple sources. We look at annual survey results, talk with League membership, and at the January General Membership Meeting we actually did live polling to help pick some events to plan for the spring. Since our committee has grown, we try to have each coordinator plan one or two events. This year we will have completed twelve trainings by May!

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League members sharpen skills.

Q: What events do you have coming up this spring that you’d like our membership to be aware of?

A: We are super excited about the events this spring. Our big finale is going to be our “Margaritas and Mulligans” event on May 19. This will include a mini golf training and then a sign-up for a Nine-Hole Scramble. We are opening up this training to Sustainers as well. Also based on the live polling from the January General Membership Meeting, we are going to do a training on wine (that was by far the most popular choice) and meditation. “Meditation and Mimosas” will be held on March 8 and March 23. Mark your calendars! We also have one more event that we will plan for April that is TBD! So keep your eyes posted on the Hot Sheet and Facebook for updates.

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Growing financially savvy through Women’s Finance Training.

Recruitment for next year’s New Member group begins in February. For more information about joining the Junior League of Omaha, visit https://www.jlomaha.org/join-us/.  

Big Red Block Party Celebrates Husker Spirit

This year, the Junior League of Omaha’s Big Red Block Party fundraiser hosted 108 people at the Scott Conference Center. The silent auction was a favorite among attendees with 62 fun, unique packages with a wide range of starting bids, appropriate for all spend levels! Attendees also enjoyed a delicious buffet with rotating, heavy appetizers, two bars, and yard games.

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This was the final year for this special event, and Lauren Anderson, the Big Red Block Party Co-Chair, stated, “The most meaningful moment during the event was honoring the previous Chairs and talking about the fundraiser. This event has raised $176,000 for the League over the last nine years, and that deserves to be celebrated.”

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Collaboration and communication were two key elements that contributed to Big Red Block Party’s success. As Lauren Anderson, Big Red Block Party Co-Chair, described, “Our committee worked really well together…between our (almost) weekly committee hot sheets and our committee meetings, we were able to efficiently plan our event.” Anderson also credited working with Jen Bartlet, their JLO Sustainer Advisor, and a past Big Red Block Party Chair, as a vital resource who gave both Co-Chair Hunter Taylor and herself additional insight into making the event a success.

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When asked if she had any advice for future Junior League of Omaha fundraisers, Anderson responded, “Yes! Create a timeline and stick with it. Check in with your committee, but don’t bombard them with emails. Say thank you. And most importantly, seriously evaluate your event every year to make sure it’s still relevant.”

For more information about upcoming Junior League of Omaha events or to become a member, visit our website at http://www.jlomaha.org.

 

JLO Past Presidents & Sustainers Luncheon

The Junior League of Omaha Foundation hosted the annual Past Presidents and Sustainer Luncheon on a beautiful October day at Champions Run. Kathy Martin, Junior League of Omaha Foundation Board President, welcomed a large group to the luncheon, introducing past Junior League of Omaha Presidents and past Foundation Presidents. Current Junior League of Omaha President Lindsey Tonniges updated the Sustainers on the exciting projects with which the League is currently involved.

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The 100th Anniversary Co-Chairs, Patricia Stillmock and Bethany Bannister, spoke on the upcoming events for the centennial celebration of the Junior League of Omaha in 2019.  Foundation President Kathy Martin shared, “All the Sustainers are looking forward to attending the March 15th luncheon celebrating our 100th anniversary!” In addition, the Junior League of Omaha Cookbook Co-Chairs, Ashley Rich and Jamie Schneider, were there to promote A Century of Serving: A Centennial Celebration Cookbook.

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For more information regarding the Junior League of Omaha, visit the website at www.jlomaha.org. Learn more about the Junior League of Omaha Foundation at https://www.jlomaha.org/foundation/. To order a personal copy of A Century of Serving: A Centennial Celebration Cookbook, visit https://www.jlomaha.org/cookbook.

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The Scoop on Mentorship

As the Mentorship Program enters into its sixth year, Chair Kayla Petersen and Vice-Chair, Lakelyn Hogan, are excited to give you the scoop on what is in store for the 2018-2019 League year!

The Mentorship Program was created to provide an opportunity for League members to connect with each other on a more personal level. Mentors and mentees are matched based on their mentorship application, where they indicate what they hope to gain from taking part in the Mentorship Program. For some, they join purely to make new friends. For others, they have a goal of networking or learning more about the Junior League of Omaha.

Mentorship matches have traditionally met in October but this year, the program is kicking off earlier in June 2018. Below, Kayla and Lakelyn share the details on the changes and what you can expect for the next League year.

9_succulant groupThe Mentorship Program hosted their 2017-2018 kick-off event at The Makery with a succulent bar activity.

Q: When will the Mentorship Program start and why did it change?

Kayla: The outgoing Chair, Sammi Kaiser, and I made the decision to move up the start of the Mentorship Program for several reasons. We have typically kicked things off in October after the start of the League year. However, we felt that this did not allow mentorship matches enough time to connect and develop a relationship due to the holidays and the business of people’s League placements.

We decided that a start in June would offer matches more time to form friendships and more opportunities to connect throughout the year. Also, summer months are typically a slower time for many people in the League. Matches will hopefully be able to take advantage of the summertime to foster their new mentorship relationships.

Q: What are some of the top reasons people join the Mentorship Program?

Kayla: In the past when we have surveyed participants on what they hope to get out of their mentorship experience, overwhelmingly the response is always to make new friends and meet more people in the League. Most people who join are simply looking to create more touch points and opportunities to interact with League members. Some of the other top responses from our surveys include looking for someone who can answer League questions and provide League guidance. Occasionally we also get requests for someone with a similar career who can provide mentorship on how to advance within a particular field.  

IMG_0907Lakelyn and her mentee Allison Kousaie enjoying happy hour at Timber in Countryside Village.

Q: Do you have to know a lot about Junior League to be a mentor?

Lakelyn: You certainly do not have to be an expert on the Junior League to be a mentor.  Even after being in the Junior League for over five years, I still don’t know all of the answers. I try my best to share my experiences in the various placements I have had during my time in the League. If my mentee ever had questions that I couldn’t answer, I would help them find the answer and we both learned together. Even being a second or third year active, simply sharing your experience with your mentee can be a powerful way to provide mentorship.

Q: Who is eligible to be a mentee?

Kayla: As long as you are an active member of the Junior League of Omaha, you can be a mentee. Typically, first and second-year actives are mentees. However, second-year actives can still apply for a mentee role if they feel strongly about it. New members already have a lot on their plate and have a whole committee that mentors them through their New Member year. Once those New Members become actives, it is a great time to join the Mentorship Program so you can continue to build friendships within the League.

Lauren AndersonMentor Lauren Anderson and her two mentees Michelle Pernicek and Lauren Weber at the Olympic curling trials.

Q: What kinds of activities do matches do together?

Lakelyn: The sky’s the limit when it comes to mentor and mentee activities. One year, I had two mentees and we met every other month for lunch at Flagship Commons. This year, I have had happy hour with my mentee and we even had a puppy play date so I could meet her new pup! I have heard of other matches going to sporting events together, taking on the Escape Room challenge, meeting for coffee, crafting together and so much more. As a match, you get to decide what interests you both and have fun during your time together.

IMG_7540The spring Mentorship Program event was hosted at Whisk and Measure, where matches took part in a cookie decorating tutorial.

Q: Are there group Mentorship Program activities?

Kayla: Yes! The first group activity is a kick-off event at in June where we will reveal the mentor/mentee matches. Our goal is to plan the event around an activity where participants can learn something new while having an opportunity to socialize with their match and other participants in the Mentorship Program.

We highly encourage everyone to attend the kick-off so every mentee has an opportunity to meet face-to-face with their mentor. We also plan a wrap-up event at the end of the year to conclude the Mentorship Program. This year we are hoping to provide a few additional opportunities for mentorship participants to get together. This will give people a chance, not only connect with their match, but also allow for more connections to be formed within the Mentorship Program.

Q: How can I sign up to take part in the Mentorship Program?

Kayla: We want everyone who is interested to fill out the Mentorship Program Application. It will only take you 5 minutes or less. Applications for the 2018-2019 league year are due May 28th. 2018. Then, Lakelyn and I will meet to pair our mentor and mentees together. We will email mentorship participants with more information on the kick-off event which will be taking place in June of 2018.  

Kayla and Lakelyn hope you will consider joining the Mentorship Program and they look forward to making many mentorship matches in June!

If you have questions, please email mentorship@jlomaha.org.  

What’s to Gain from New Member Year?

As we “spring” into the final months of the 2017-2018 League year, the Junior League of Omaha New Members reflect on their experience so far.

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Back in August 2017, a group of 74 New Members came together to start their Junior League year. Since then, they have formed friendships, learned the inner workings of the Junior League and gained exposure to various organizations in the Omaha community.

In talking with several of the New Members about their New Member year, we learned that there is a lot that they have gained in such a short period of time. Here are some of the highlights:

My New Member year…

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Opened My Eyes to All the League Does

“The best part of my New Member year has definitely been learning more about what the league does and how we help the community. I had no idea that the programs we launch are then sent out to be run by other community organizations!” – Lauren Harlow Fischer

Increased My Community Involvement

“I joined the Junior League of Omaha to take the next step in my community involvement.  The best part about my New Member year is learning about all the different charities and organizations that the Junior League of Omaha impacts. It is truly amazing to know we are the difference makers within our greater community.” -Maggie McGlade-Palmer

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Helped Me Connect in a New City

“I joined Junior League as a way to meet new people since I’m not from the area. I moved here almost three years ago and was focusing on getting settled in our new home and my new job. I realized it was time to start connecting with other women who are interested in serving the community. I had been a provisional member in the Junior League of Memphis where I’m from and knew that it was a great way to be involved and make new friends!” -Lauren Harlow Fischer

“I am relatively new to Omaha, so I thought Junior League would give me the opportunity to meet new people and get connected to the community.” -Mo Marmesh

Gave Me the Opportunity to Give Back

“I joined the Junior League to give back to my community.  I had not done a lot of community service after coming back to Omaha.  It is the perfect combination of new friendships, community service, and professional development.” – Jess Winter

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Allowed Me to Meet Like-Minded Women

“The best part so far has been seeing the incredible potential of so many young women in Omaha. Each New Member I’ve met has something unique to offer and they’re all so willing to share their time and resources to make others’ lives better. It’s really inspiring!” – Natalie Ellis

“The reason I joined the Junior League was to make connections and friendships with other motivated and philanthropically-minded women.” – Elizabeth Kraemer

Helped Me to Discover New Interests

“In my New Member year, I have found new interests and hidden passions. The most memorable thing I have learned are all the awesome things the League does. I had no idea of the impact!” -Jess Winter

We also asked the New Members what they are most looking forward to in their first active year, this is what they had to say:

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“I’m looking forward to really plugging into a smaller group that meets consistently to work towards a goal. I hope to bring my own skills to my placement and to garner some new ones from other other women in the group.” -Natalie Ellis

“I look forward to finding my roots during my first active year and finding my passion within the League. Right now I am enjoying the education I receive on the various aspects but I am ready to jump start my ability to make a difference.” -Maggie McGlade-Palmer

“I look forward to being a part of a committee and working on a project or event. I think working towards a common goal will be a great way to get to know some more of the Junior League ladies and feel more connected to the organization’s impact on the community.” – Mo Marmesh

“I’m looking forward to getting to the point of recognizing more faces and developing closer relationships.  And figuring out my first placement where I can really make an impact!” – Elizabeth Kraemer

We are so excited to have the New Member class of 2017-2018 officially join as actives in May at our Annual meeting. Congratulations New Member and cheers to all you will accomplish in the League in the coming years!

If you are considering joining the Junior League, we are now accepting applications for the 2018-2019 New Member year. Please plan to attend one of the following a New Member information sessions to learn more!

New Member Information Sessions:

  • April 26, 2018
  • May 10, 2018

New Member information sessions will take place at Junior League of Omaha headquarters (12135 Pacific St, Omaha, Nebraska 68154) from 6:00-7:30 PM.

If you have questions, please reach out to Megan McFarlin at 402.740.1396 or join@jlomaha.org. You can also learn more about the Junior League of Omaha at www.jlomaha.org.

 

Are You Ready for This Year’s bRUNch 5k?!

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Have you joined us in the past for our delicious mimosas and brunch, but feel like you want to take your new year’s resolutions up a level this year? Well, then you are in luck with these helpful tips “From Couch to 5K.”  You will be ready in no time!

Week one: For your three runs in week one, you will begin with a brisk five-minute walk, then alternate one minute of running and one-and-a-half minutes of walking, for a total of 20 minutes.

Week two: For your three runs in week two, you will begin with a brisk five-minute walk, then alternate one-and-a-half minutes of running with two minutes of walking, for a total of 20 minutes.

Week three: For your three runs in week three, you will begin with a brisk five-minute walk, then two repetitions of one-and-a-half minutes of running, one-and-a-half minutes of walking, three minutes of running and three minutes of walking.

Week four: For your three runs in week four, you will begin with a brisk five-minute walk, then three minutes of running, one-and-a-half minutes of walking, five minutes of running, two-and-a-half minutes of walking, three minutes of running, one-and-a-half minutes of walking and five minutes of running.

Week five: There are three different runs this week:

Run one: a brisk five-minute walk, then five minutes of running, three minutes of walking, five minutes of running, three minutes of walking and five minutes of running.

Run two: a brisk five-minute walk, then eight minutes of running, five minutes of walking and eight minutes of running.

Run three: a brisk five-minute walk, then 20 minutes of running, with no walking.

Week six: There are three different runs this week:

Run one: a brisk five-minute walk, then five minutes of running, three minutes of walking, eight minutes of running, three minutes of walking and five minutes of running.

Run two: a brisk five-minute walk, then 10 minutes of running, three minutes of walking and 10 minutes of running.

Run three: a brisk five-minute walk, then 25 minutes of running with no walking.

Week seven: For your three runs in week seven, you will begin with a brisk five-minute walk, then 25 minutes of running.

Week eight: For your three runs in week eight, you will begin with a brisk five-minute walk, then 28 minutes of running.

Week nine: For your three runs in week nine, you will begin with a brisk five-minute walk, then 30 minutes of running.

Now that you are all set we can’t wait to see you at the finish line! Race ya there!

5 Questions for the Placement Fair

It’s that time of year again to start thinking about your 2018-2019 Junior League placement. With the League engaged in so many exciting projects and fundraisers, it’s hard to decide which placements to consider. As you flip through the Placement Bulletin (which will be published later this month), it is helpful to have a little direction. The placement committee has put together five questions to ask yourself and five questions to ask at the upcoming Placement Fair on Monday, March 12th before the General meeting.

 

Questions to ask yourself:

 

  • What am I hoping to get out of the upcoming League year?

 

Everyone comes to the Junior League with a different objective. Some join to grow their social circles, to network or to make new friends. Others want to learn a specific skill or get experience in a certain role within the League. Asking yourself this important question can help you narrow down placements to consider. Some examples: If you are wanting to meet new people, consider a larger committee. If you are looking to gain experience asking for donations, then consider a fundraiser.

 

  • What skills can I contribute and what skills do I want to develop?

 

The League is lucky to have women of many talents. When you think about next year’s placement, make a list of your current skills and which positions could help you expand upon those skills. The Placement Committee strives to match League member’s skills with the skills needed for the placement. For example: If you are proficient in excel and want to learn more about asking for donations, consider a placement on one of the Fundraising Council committees.

 

  • Am I seeking out a leadership role?

 

There are numerous leadership roles within the League. These leadership roles are a great opportunity to demonstrate and develop your leadership skills. However, these roles come with greater responsibilities, and may involve greater time commitments.. If you are interested in a specific leadership role, reach out to the member who currently holds that role or to members who have held the role in the past. Ask them about their experiences, the challenges and the opportunities. This will give you a good idea of the commitment that the specific leadership role would take.

 

  • Am I seeking a placement on a small or large committee?

 

See your answer to question #1. Ultimately, this comes down to your personal preferences and what you’re hoping to get out of the upcoming League year. If your objective is to get to know more members, on a more personal level, look at some of the smaller committees. If you’re looking to expand your social circle or do some networking, go for a placement on a larger committee.

 

  • How much time do I have to devote to my placement?

 

While this is the last of our five questions to ask yourself, it’s one of the most important. It requires you to take an honest and realistic inventory of your time. What are your professional, personal, social, and other community commitments? Junior League is a volunteer organization, so it is important that you identify how much time you have to give to your placement. Some placements require work that is “hands on” or “boots on the ground” work. Other placements might allow you to work remotely. Some placements require attendance at committee related events – such as sorting shifts, fundraising drop-offs/pick-ups, etc. Ultimately, by identifying how much time you have to give to Junior League, you can avoid overcommitting or feeling overwhelmed in a placement. (See also, question #3 below).

 

Questions to ask committee chairs:

 

  • What is the committee’s goals for the 2018-2019 year?

 

Each committee has a unique set of goals that they are looking to achieve. Perhaps the fundraiser is looking to hit a new revenue goal or a project is looking to expand its reach. Knowing the goals of the committee can help you identify if you have the skill set the committee would need to help achieve their goals.

 

  • When and how often does the committee meet?

 

Attendance at committee meetings is vital to the work of all committees. When considering a placement, it is important that you assess whether or not your own schedule will conflict with the committee’s meeting schedule. If the committee’s meeting schedule is not included in the Placement Bulletin description, be sure to ask the chair.

 

  • What is the time commitment like for the placement?

 

Asking this question can help you get a good feel for how much time you are likely to devote to your placement on a weekly or monthly basis. Be sure to also read the job description in the placement bulletin to get a feel for the expectations of the role. You can also check out the “Volunteer Hours & Placements” spreadsheet on the Google Drive. To access the spreadsheet visit the shared “JLO Members” Google Drive folder, then click the “Resources” folder. Keep in mind that these hours are for the duties and responsibilities associated with the placement for the specified League year.

 

  • Are there times of the year that the placement is more time consuming and/or does the committee require attendance at special events or work days?

 

Typically, committees meet on a monthly basis, however some committees may meet more or less frequently during certain times of the year. It is also good to ask about requirements for attending special events or work days. It is better to know about the requirements ahead of time instead of being caught off guard when you learn your attendance is required.

 

  • Does the committee have socials?

 

The women of Junior League work hard but they also enjoy time for socializing and celebrating a job well done. Many committees organize social events. If socialization is high on your priority list, ask the chairs if they plan to hold socials throughout the League year.

Hopefully these questions will help you through the placement process. Remember, advocating forms will be due by 7:00 p.m on Friday March 16 and open placement form will be due by 7:00 p.m. on Friday April 6, 2018. If you can’t make the placement fair, you can always reach call or email the committee chairs for the placements in which you are interest